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Question Number: 33779

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct 11/16/2019

RE: Under 19

bruce of phoenix, az USA asks...

attacker A running towards goal and going through a small group of defenders around 25 yards out the loses possession. attacker A felt like he was grabbed/held a bit by defender B and was upset no foul was called. as he was walking back up the field, attacker A gave attacker B a trifling but intentional kick on his cleats as he passed by, one of those 'hey i dont like what you did dont do it again' things, no excessive force or anything. defender B responds by kicking his feet back. i am AR and immediately throw up my flag and have the CR caution both players for this rather than a send off.

a few minutes later whistle blows to end the match (the above incident occurred at '88' or so). as attacker A was walking off field, he passed closely by defender B but did not say anything or make any physical contact, but as he passed by, defender B gave him another kick to his feet. i yelled out to the CR and i suggested giving a second caution for that, but CR decided to go with RC for VC. i know that kicking a player intentionally is VC, but i wonder if i made the mistake of letting it get to that point and not having told the CR to send off both players for the initial incident, both the attacker for the trifling but intentional kick and the defender to the retaliation. what are your guys opinions on what proper procedure should have been? was it right to give the attacker only a yellow for instigating the situation that ultimately resulted in the defender getting sent off?

U19 high level boys match.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Bruce,
it is always worthy to reconsider the what ifs, after a match. Hindsight is remarkably clear when not pressed for immediate response and action.

We all know soccer as fun as it is supposed to be, has its share of emotional tantrums and competitive juices corroding the reasonable behavior we so try to encourage!

In the end though, as in any individual decision, to respond, you run the risk of consequences. Life & soccer, nothing says it will be fair.

You can occasional deal with it, in a verbal 'Cut the horse play guys you really want to get sent off for this?' Certainly not wrong in involving the CR but sometimes depending on the severity & tensions not dialed in too much a simple reminder to smarten up solves a great many issues, at least temporarily!

Sometimes a card is the correct tool and in fact the essential tool but attitudes and egos walk through the warnings and dismiss the reality that consequences are in store! Often referees are often told to get away from the FOP at match end but in cases where you are aware of palatable tensions, it does not hurt to be around & even remind the guys, Good game fellows, let not have any afters to taint it! Presence has its virtues of moderation but not always full control . Players often make their own beds to lie in no matter what we might do to make it possible for them not to!

I recall a match where a very good player lost ball possession and in being peeved at himself swung a goofy kick at the opponents retreating backside catching him a bit of a tap on the bottom of the boot. It was not especially violent or reckless more of a stupid last ditch crap wave and the opponent looked over his shoulder and said that was BS which it was. I was in the process of applying Advantage ! The fellow gets all uppity and says what are you going do about it and the response of, I'll f---ing get you later, ends in my whistle blast of NOT a chance in hell fellows, this ends here and now or you both are going to be sitting in the change room. I get the two to come in to me and I address each.

It was a ridiculous action and this caution (show a yellow card to the kicker) is for that but stow the indignant attitude . You are a far better player than than that & you know damn well you were wrong!.

I will referee there is no need to seek retaliation. You can not verbally shout out that you are going to look for an opportunity to get even and expect me to not deal with it ? I was trying to play advantage & your response forced me to end it! This caution show the yellow card is for your response ) . We have had no hint of malice up until now so shake and lets get back to playing. Poof it all went away.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bruce
The reference in the Laws on violent conduct is excessive force. There is mention in relation to VC that when the force used is negligible in which case it isnít VC.
Every referee has been confronted by situations of whether an incident such as the one you describe merits either a caution or a dismissal.
That all comes down to tolerance levels and perhaps game mood, circumstances etc. I have looked back on cautions that I gave in games and thought that I was perhaps *charitable* in going with yellow instead of red. I also recall going with second yellows instead of straight reds again on doubtful situations that could have been viewed otherwise.
Either way here players that are on cards run the very high risk of getting sent off for a second yellow or for a straight red.
In the first instance from what you describe I would say cautions were the correct call and it had to be dealt with. If a referees sees player misconduct it must be dealt with. So cards were certainly correct for both players and I would be leaning more towards yellow than red. If the end of game situation was of a similar ilk it is also a caution. One way or another it is still red either for two cautions or a straight red.
The only debate now is the sending off report and there is a big difference between describing a straight red and two yellows and the sanction The referee though,as I assume he did not see it, has to defer to yourself as the witness for the report?

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